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Krista Morrison Alumni Web Developer at HP
A year ago, I was a wedding planner. Today, I am a software engineer at a Fortune 500 company.
People laugh when I tell them that…like they think it must be a joke. Let’s be real: it does sound like a joke. But it’s 100% true, and that is in large part due to my experience at LEARN.
How it happened:
-Run a wedding planning business for 7 years.
-Decide it’s time for a major career change. Start online coding courses.
-Realize that online coding courses are only going to get me so far. Start researching onsite boot camps.
-Get excited about the idea of traveling to San Francisco or Chicago or London for 4-6 months to attend a boot camp.
-Find out about LEARN. Find myself drawn to the idea of getting real world experience in a guaranteed internship in the city where I actually want to get a job. --Set up a walkthrough.
-Meet Rob, Chelsea, and Lisa. Realize these are my kind of people. The kind of people who are good friends you just haven’t met yet. Suddenly London doesn’t seem so appealing. Go home and apply.
-Get accepted. Realize my life is about to change completely.
-Day 1: spend 15 minutes trying to figure out how to turn on the computer. Think to myself, “what on earth have I gotten myself into?”
-Week 1: Okay, this is a lot, but nothing I can’t handle.
-Week 2: I spoke too soon. My brain hurts. My bedtime is suddenly 8pm.
-Weeks 3-9: I love it. I hate it. I love it. I hate it. I’m learning so much. I’m making great friends. I love it. I hate it. I’m learning how to learn. I love it.
-Weeks 10-12, group projects: Remember that time when I couldn’t figure out how to turn on the computer? Ha. Look at me now; running my life from the command line, building a sweet Ruby on Rails app from scratch, keeping it on track with git, understanding database migrations, styling it with Bootstrap. Wait, what do you mean it’s over?!
-Internship: Not what I expected. Bad fit. LEARN steps in and advocates for me and my internship team. Thank goodness for staff who actually care enough to make sure you get the best experience possible. New internship. Better fit. Learn a ton. Get to work on a real app with real code pushed to production.
-Graduate. Time for real life. Time to get a job. Oh dear.
-Freelance while applying for jobs. Keep coding daily. -Go to networking events as much as possible. Wonder if this life gamble I took is actually going to pay off.
-Apply. Interview. Get rejected. Repeat.
-3 months after graduation: Hear about a job opening at a Fortune 50 company. They want experience. I don’t have it. I apply anyway.
-Full day interview consisting of coding challenges and technical interviews. My interviewers seem surprised that I actually know how to code in Ruby on Rails, not to mention my proficiency in TDD using Rspec and Capybara. I have the most fun I’ve ever had at an interview.
-5 hours after the interview: Get a job offer. Scratch that. Get a crazy amazing job offer higher than I had let myself hope for.
-Accept job offer. Pinch myself to make sure this is real life.
-6 months into new job: Still pinching myself. Can’t believe I get to do something so fun and get so well paid for it.
-Drink coffee every morning out of my LEARN mug and think about how going there was the best decision I could have made. I got a great education, a sweet new career, and friendships which go far beyond working together in tech.
Go to LEARN. Gain an education. Leave with a family.